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NBMCH doctor tests positive; Kurseong doctor in quarantine

“He has been admitted in hospital and the remaining have been sent for institutional quarantine. We are tracing others who came in contact with him,” said a health department official.

The Statesman Desk | Siliguri/Kurseong |

A doctor of the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) has tested positive for Covid-19 and has been admitted in Dr Chang’s (Covid) Hospital at Matigara in Siliguri. The 63-year-old doctor of the eye department had arrived in Siliguri from Kolkata on 30 April in a bus that also carried 26 others, including 21 doctors, three nurses and technicians, who were all on leave.

“He has been admitted in hospital and the remaining have been sent for institutional quarantine. We are tracing others who came in contact with him,” said a health department official. Questions are being raised as to how so many doctors and medical staff were allowed to go on leave during the pandemic and how they all travelled in a single bus.

It may be noted here that doctors posted at the NBMCH hail from Kolkata and other districts of south Bengal. The officer on special duty for Covid-19 in North Bengal, Dr Susanta Roy, said all necessary procedures have been followed after the detection.

Meanwhile, sources said that some medical teachers have informed the director of medical education Prof Debasis Bhattacharya of their displeasure over the “lack of basic amenities” at the quarantine centre located near the NBMCH, where they have now been isolated. They said they had requested the authorities to arrange for a “habitable accommodation.”

The authorities directed them to go for institutional quarantine at the private facility and remain there until further instructions. “If anybody desires to stay in a paid quarantine (hotel) he/she may opt for the same, and apply to the office of the undersigned,” the NBMCH said in a note meant for NBMCH faculties and staff.

On the other hand, some local persons raised objections after some doctors ventured out from the quarantine centre to buy essential commodities today. Kurseong doc, nurse quarantined: Meanwhile, a doctor of the Kurseong Sub-Divisional hospital, a nurse, and an ambulance driver were sent to a quarantine centre in the town today.

Kurseong town in Darjeeling went into panic mode today after it was learnt that the orthopedic doctor, who recently returned to the town, and the nurse had travelled in a bus from Kolkata to Siliguri that also carried the doctor, who tested positive yesterday.

Upon reaching Siliguri, the duo had travelled to Kurseong in an ambulance on Thursday. As news spread, GTA chairman Anit Thapa sprang into action and shut two pharmacies in Kurseong, where the doctor visited and checked a few patients after his return from Kolkata.

“After he learnt that the NBMCH doctor had tested positive, the Kurseong doctor informed officials of his travel history yesterday and went into quarantine,” sources said. Sources said their throat swab samples have been sent for tests and that reports are awaited.